Thursday, May 26, 2005

Nutter won't take no for an answer

Well, after previously calling Nutter's ethics and smoking bills dead in the water, I am now happy to report that both appear to have fresh sails. The ethics bill (actually two pieces) has been tweaked slightly to address initial concerns, and appears ready for passage today.
Today's expected movement on the legislation, which good-government experts have hailed as among the strongest in the nation, comes just two months after Council narrowly defeated the effort in a tense 11-5 vote.
. . .
As of yesterday, at least 14 Council members said they were willing to vote for the pay-to-play measures, including two who had previously voted against them: Marian Tasco and Rick Mariano.
This will still require voter approval, as it involves some sort of change to a mysterious document, the City Charter.

On the fresh-air front, Councilfolks were apparently able to find a couple of small concessions capable of revitalizing the smoking ban as well. Namely, outdoor seating and smoking clubs will be exempted, and corner bars and private clubs can apply for a delay or waiver (respectively) of the regulation.
"It gives the local neighborhood bars, which I was most concerned about, a couple of years to get ready," said Councilman Frank DiCicco, a former critic who said he would vote for the measure today.
DiCicco's flip is what will allow this measure to pass; he must hope that by the time the delays are up, either the owners will have seen that their colleagues are still doing fine, or he himself will have moved on to another job... heh.


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